I apologize for not being more clear about Nadia’s back to school start date. Bless your souls who inquired about how her first day back went yesterday. I do appreciate you all checking in. Nadia will be returning for the first time this afternoon, in a few hours actually. And I’m terrified. What if she has a panic attack? What if she refuses pants since she knows we aren’t going somewhere fun, like Target, to look at toys? I think I have PTSD over her epic meltdowns, as I’m seriously a mess over her going back. I’m as scared for her as I am for myself. I don’t want the stress of preschool to undo all the great progress we have made over the past two months… So yes, it’s today.
Yesterday Eric and I took Nadia to see a pediatric neurologist, a referral from our PANS specialist. We were there over two hours, so much medical talk, good thing Eric was there! I’m not sure I can say exactly how a neurologist treats PANS, my understanding is that it’s more to rule out any other brain abnormalities. There isn’t really one, or any definitive tests to prove a patient has PANS, therefore we need to rule out every other possible condition that could cause similar symptoms.
If you remember back to Nadia’s premature birth, it’s customary to do an ultrasound of the brain on the seventh day of life to look for brain bleeds. They found one in Nadia’s brain and thus performed an MRI that same day, which ended up showing a portion of her brain hadn’t received oxygen at some point. They couldn’t pinpoint when, they assumed a week before or right after her birth, if I remember correctly. A pediatric neurologist did follow Nadia for the first two years of her life, but as her development was on track compared to other preemies her age, they released Nadia from their care, believing the brain had healed itself. Baby brains, especially preemies, as they are at an even earlier stage of development, are extremely ‘pliable’ so to speak. Damage is often able to heal itself by forming new and different pathways. Or so the doctors told us!
So fast forward to now… Given Nadia’s neurologic history, they want to do another MRI with contrast to see how her brain looks now… They want to make sure that the symptoms we currently believe to be PANS aren’t better explained by some other condition. Honestly though, I’m not sure what we expect to see on this MRI. Inflammation in the brain, the biggest sign of PANS, doesn’t necessarily show up on MRIs, but again, we aren’t trying to rule PANS in, rather rule out anything else.
I did ask the teachers about the chair. Apparently there is such a chair, that is set a bit away from the area used for circle time. It’s only for those children who are being EXTREMELY disruptive I’m told. Nadia has never needed to sit in this chair… Perhaps though she is afraid of having to? I don’t know… She is so easily embarrassed if corrected in front of others… I guess we’ll just see how she does today. Pray I can actually get her there!